Paul writes to the church in Philippi. They supported him in his work. When he was there he stayed with Lydia, and they took care of his needs. He was cautious in how and when to accept money from the labor of his work. Corinth, and perhaps Thessalonica were places of whom he did not receive support, else it look like he was preaching for profit. But, Philippi was a congregation that continued to support him, and he sates that it was a sacrifice for them to do so.
What makes a valuable sacrifice to God?
It must be something of value to the life of the giver.
- Mark 12:31
Jesus, when comparing the wealth that is being given by perhaps the pharisees, scribes, states that the widow gave even more, because in their abundance they gave, and she all that she had.
It must be something required by God.
- Romans 12:1-2
God wants us to give ourselves to Him. When we give ourselves to him we are truly giving everything we have, we are giving a living sacrifice.
“The problem with a living sacrifice is that at times it wants to crawl off the altar.” — Bro. Marshall Keeble
Ideas of Acceptable Sacrifice
Every acceptable sacrifice is given by faith.
- Hebrews 11:4
Abel during the patriarchal age speaks tot he head of their families. And, as heads of each of their own family, God would have given them the same commandments.
Abel, gave as God commanded. Cain, however did not.
Abraham gave in faith, his own son.
- Hebrews 11:17-19
Abraham recognized that Isaac was the son of promise. Yet, now God asks for him to be sacrificed. And, in faith, Abraham chooses to obey God, recognizing that God had the power to raise him up.
God showed his respect for Abraham int hat He accepted his willingness to sacrifice.
God rejected the Israelites for sacrifices without faith, offering he commanded them not to offer.
- Jeremiah 19:3-5
Many things done in sacrifice, or made as tribute to God, are not what God requires. These things not commanded by God, is not pleasing to God. Since, faith cometh by hearing, anything offered outside of the word given is not what God requires.
- Romans 16:25,26
Our faith grows as our knowledge grows and acceptable sacrifices come by faith.
Sacrifices Require Effort
Cain made no effort to make the required sacrifice.
- Genesis 4:3
Some contend they can do what they feel their talent and call it a sacrifice to God. They try to add something more, and do something that God did not command.
Cain tried to add something God did not command. But, Abel brought what the Lord required.
- Genesis 4:5
- Hebrews 13:15
We are to offer the sacrifice of praise.
Abel offered a sacrifice that God required. Cain did not. God desires for us to offer ourselves a living sacrifice, and a sacrifice of praise. We must offer a sacrifice that is required by the Lord.
A Sacrifice Must Cost Something
- 2 Samuel 24:22-25
David knew that to sacrifice it must cost him something. We must bear our own burden. Where is faith if we only embrace the things we agree with. We cannot be righteous by relying on the faith of another.
- Ezekiel 18:20
Every acceptable sacrifice must have a personal cost.
An Acceptable Sacrifice Speaks Volume
- Hebrews 11:3,4
Righteous Abel still speaks to us to day. It was a sacrifice by faith. The nation of Israel spoke with their willingness to build the tabernacle by the offerings that they made.
- Exodus 35:29
God, through Moses commanded what was to be brought for the making of the tabernacle.
The children brought a willing offer unto the Lord.
- Exodus 36:6-7
There generosity was so great that Moses had to restrain them. They had enough, they had too much. It speaks volumes as to how much that nation, at that time loved the Lord.
Barnabas, sold land, and gave the money for the support of the work of the church. He was generous.
- Acts 4:36
Mary giving of the oil for the anointing of Jesus.
- John 11:7-8
This oil was very valuable and speaks great volume fo the love she had for Christ.
The Joy of Giving Sacrifice to God
Cain had no joy.
- Genesis 4:6
His countenance fell after he made his unacceptable sacrifice. He found no joy. He had great zeal but not according to knowledge.
- Romans 10:1-3
Can perhaps had zeal but not according to knowledge. When God corrected him, he didn’t correct the problem, rather he lashed out at his brother and killed him.
Philippians brought Paul great rejoicing. Not in the gift, but rather in the giving.
Many things offered to God with the best intent, does not find acceptance if it isn’t in accordance iwth God’s will. Things offered in worship without command from God will not be accepeted.
- Matthew 7:21-23
Many will say they have done many things in the name of the Lord, yet, they will not be accepted. They may be offered in the name of Christ, but not in the will of the Lord.
How do we do the Lord’s will?
If we believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, that God is the Creator, and we make that belief known, and repent of our sins, confessing His name, and being baptized for the remission of our sins. Then, continue walking in the light, 1 John 1:7 being faith, offering sacrifice of praise in accordance to His will.